This shouldn’t happen, but I’ve seen it all too often. The web developer or web agency is listed as the registrant for the domain name. Sometimes, they even use this as leverage to keep a client – or worst still hold them hostage. Basically, if you stop being their client you lose your domain name, your email and your hosting. That’s more than a pickle, that’s a pickle factory with a tornado bearing down on it.
It takes 5 minutes to get an account with a domain name registrar and registering a domain name is as simple as filling in a web form and getting your credit card out.
Ok, but what if you find yourself in this situation? Well, if you have the UDAI or authentication code, you can grab the domain back, but you still won’t be the registrant. But at least you’ll have control over it. Still, not an ideal situation, and you really need to be the registrant.
The Domain Name Commission exists for New Zealand domain management issues, and you can lodge a complaint against your provider. To do this, go to https://dnc.org.nz/for-consumers/complaints-about-nz-industry-service-providers/
If you’d like to read some of the legal judgements around domain name issues in New Zealand, you can read these online at http://www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZDNC/